Drug mafia targets schoolchildren in Jammu

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As Jammu is virtually slipping into the tight grip of the drug mafia, parents are helplessly watching their teenaged children dying slow deaths due to failure of the authorities to crack down on the mafia, well connected with politicians and the police.

A woman, who had reached uninvited at the venue of the anti-drug rally on Saturday to narrate the tale of woes of his drug addict child, is an indication how helpless are the parents of the drug addict children of Jammu.

Drug addiction is not confined to boys only, but now the menace has gripped girls also as cases of girls found involved in consuming drugs have increased manifold.

The death of a teenaged girl, Divya Manhas, who died due to an overdose of heroin last year, is not an isolated case.

Recently two drug peddlers were nabbed by the police on the outskirts of Jammu city. They used to supply such deadly drugs to schoolchildren, including girls.Another shocking incident came to the fore when a family in the Sanjay Nagar locality of Jammu city revealed that their son, who is a student of Class V, has become a drug addict.“Many death cases due to drug addiction go unreported as parents usually hesitate to come forward due to the social stigma attached to it,” a senior police officer said.

The officer, who is working for crackdown on drug mafia in the Jammu region, said children of well-to-do families were especially targeted as these kids could spend huge amounts.“Last month during a routine checking, policemen caught two boys along with teenaged girls consuming heroin in an SUV,” he said, adding that occurrence of such incidents had become a routine affairs in the city and its outskirts.“Earlier, some cough syrups were used, but now a days youth in Jammu and its suburbs are addicted to heroin, code name ‘chitta’,” he said.Investigation conducted by the police revealed that “chitta” was being supplied from Delhi through Himachal Pradesh and Punjab as the drug mafia had a well-connected network in the northern states.“During the last couple of months we have succeeded in breaking five big supply chains of drugs in the Jammu region,” SSP, Jammu, Uttam Chand told. While admitting that checking activities of drug peddlers was a challenging job for the police in this region.The SSP, who has given directions to all SHOs to crack down on drug mafia, is hopeful that within a month or two there will be a drastic change. “Our target is to snap supply lines so as to stop the supply of these deadly drugs to this region,” he said.Although the drug mafia has been active in the Jammu region for the last five years, the authorities woke up from deep slumber only after the death of teenaged girl Divya Manhas in October 2014.Highly placed sources in the police said the drug mafia was politically well-connected and some policemen were also involved in the business.

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